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Buy Brian Aitken’s Book

Brian Aitken, the man that New Jersey authorities arrested & convicted for legally owning guns while moving, is writing a book, and he need people to pre-order to fund the many costs associated with it. Oh, and the profits will go to funding a Supreme Court appeal. Why is he going the route of writing a book to tell his story?

I don’t know about you guys, but my heart just breaks when Brian says, “My biggest goal with this book is just to put my story on paper so that one day my son can pick it up and read it, and know that I never stopped loving him. So that one day, he’ll know why I wasn’t around when he was young.” Excuse me, I might have something in my eye…

For a conviction that never should have happened and wasn’t violent or remotely to do with his ability to be a good influence on his son, Aitken has not seen his son in years and doesn’t even know the sound of his voice since the state of New Jersey took away his custody rights. He’s hoping that an appeal to the Supreme Court could change that.

His fundraiser serves as his pre-sale, and the e-book starts at $8 with hardcover copies going for $32. He has other donation gifts available, including dinner with him & possibly some of his legal team.

From a legal perspective, his case could be interesting. New Jersey is the outlier with the only conviction he has remaining – possessing the hollow-point ammunition while moving. Even though it’s a criminal case, it’s also the rare one with a completely sympathetic defendant.

24 Responses to “Buy Brian Aitken’s Book”

  1. Jason says:

    There is no form of compensation that can make amends for what that state has put him through. I hope what little I gave helps him get his kid back

    • RJ Barnett says:

      Would like to buy the book and start a school “CIvics” project on this topic. BTW, you don’t have Gunowners of Amercia Listed in your gun orgs. –why not? following you now — @rjbarnett

  2. vince says:

    The biggest lesson here is that you should avoid driving into commie states, or at least know the gun laws there. The guy broke the law, he had guns and ammo that weren’t legal, and wasn’t protected by FOPA. He should have known better. Yes, the laws suck in NJ, but he did violate them and could have avoided that.

    The whimpering to his mom and her phone call to the police to “help” didn’t help either, but that’s an entirely different topic. Good job, mom. And his ex-wife might be enjoying every minute of this, since he and his family are guaranteeing that he’ll never have custody.

    His lesson should be “Don’t do what I did”, not “I’m a victim”.

    • Bitter says:

      First of all, two of his convictions were not because he broke the law. The judge refused to allow the jury to hear instructions that he met specific exemptions to the law.

      Secondly, I’m glad to know that you’re of the “I’ve got my rights, f*ck the rest of you, I’ll dance while you suffer” mindset. It’s always great to hear from readers who support having people arrested and losing all rights to see their own children because of a misapplication of justice with unjust laws. Just hope that you don’t fall victim to unjust laws, overreaching prosecutors, or judges who ignore the law because it would be a shame if people took the same attitude you display here.

    • Ian Argent says:

      The Hollow-point ammo conviction is MORONIC since you can legally purchase and possess hollow-point ammunition in this state; but there’s no way to legally transport them between residences (unlike with a handgun).

  3. Stacy says:

    So the judge could have found a way to vacate the third conviction, but chose not to because f** you that’s why? I think that’s the very definition of a jackbooted government thug.

    • Ian Argent says:

      I don’t think he could have. The laws concerning possession of hollowpoint ammo almost exactly mirror those concerning possession of handguns without a permit to possess a handgun; except that the laws concerning handgun possession include a clause permitting possession when travelling between residences and the laws concerning hollowpoint ammo … don’t.

      As it was, the judge tossed the magazine charge on a really flimsy rationale. A police officer testified that the magazine (a factory magazine for the handgun in question that nominally holds more than 15 rounds) held more than 15 rounds. However, the law requires that the magazine be capable of feeding, and the police officer was not court-certified as a “expert” whose unsupported testimony would establish this fact for the jury, and it was not demonstrated in front of the jury. Normally, this would have resulted in the state getting a mulligan and getting another chance (the verdict ont he charge was sent back down). But, Brian had his sentence on ALL charges commuted to time served, so reconvicting him still wouldn’t put him back in prison, so the state declined to do so.
      This is a little complicated, because Brian Aitken’s legal team specifically asked for a commutation, not a pardon, so that their appeals weren’t mooted. Since they were struck down at the state level on some technicalities, he can’t appeal them. The hollowpoint restrictions are much less likely to arouse the federal judiciary.

      • Mayhew says:

        There is no such thing as a permit to possess a handgun in NJ. There is the Permit to *Purchase* and from of register (P2P) for a handgun (Since 1966) You can move to NJ (if you are glutton for punsihment) with handguns or inherit handguns without a P2P or Firearms *purchaser* identity card (also since 1966). Neither is REQUIRED to possess firearms in NJ, only to PURCHASE them (and handgun ammo in state, thanks to Gov Corzine). Aitken had 16 round mags for a handgun, as manufactured. As is stated above, the magazine thing was dropped eventually, and the commutation was agreed to. Hollow point charge was an add-on, and always has been. If he wasn’t charged with the mags, he wouldn’t have been charged with the HP ammo, most likely. Now the state has egg on its face, they aren’t going to let the HP ammo thing go. Sucks to be him, I would blame Mom first of all for calling the coppers in the first place.

        • Ian Argent says:

          Technically, the carry permit in NJ is a permit to possess a handgun. Without it, you may not possess a handgun (except under the list of exemptions outlined elsewhere in the law). Aitken was charged with illegal possession for possessing a handgun outside of one of the exemptions (except that he was within one and the jury wasn’t informed). It’s jsut that absent a job-related or ploticial reason, you can’t get a permit to carry.

  4. Dannytheman says:

    I am buying the book, as a matter of fact I am going to buy 5 of them and give them away.
    NJ is a disgrace. People need to know. Really? No custody of his son? I couldn’t imagine not talking to my boys. This video needs to be linked and Brian needs our support. First he needs our money, then he needs our social connections to get the word out.

    This whole thing is crap that was allowed by a single NJ judge.

    • Ian Argent says:

      As I said upthread, the judge tossed the big charges (illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of a high-cap magazine). There weren’t any technicalities on the hollowpoint charge, just a really poorly written law.

  5. Allura says:

    This story is one of many that make me just want to sell our guns and avoid the risk of losing our child. Keep bitching about OC or whatever pet issue of the day in the gun rights verse. This is what we’ve come to in my state. And why don’t we fight it? For the same reasons we have guns at all. Our children.

    • Bitter says:

      Keep in mind that his situation is also influenced by his ex-wife who, presumably, has primary custody of the child. Given that he says he has no idea whether his son even receives his messages, it would seem like she’s also largely responsible for the situation. Some people are simply not capable of co-parenting in a healthy manner with their former partners. I’ll never understand it, but I’ve certainly seen more than my share of it.

  6. Andy B. says:

    This sort of enterprise sounds like the sort of thing one of our RKBA organizations could easily underwrite, and perhaps even manage the publishing process.

    I have known people who self-published books with the established vanity press outfits, and it was only several thousand dollars to do it — it could even be less these days.

    I would really be encouraged to see a gun rights group invest in the encouragement of a budding new activist who has learned some lessons about our system the hard way.

    • Bitter says:

      I absolutely disagree with this because I think any of the traditional pro-gun groups would make awful marketing mistakes with this work. Aitken is a young man with a very impressive resume in marketing/advertising. He has the knowledge, experience, and potential to reach a much different audience than the traditional publishing heads at the gun groups. They would just make it another book to largely pitch to the people who are already with us and/or the Beck-inspired conspiracy types. That doesn’t do the movement any good. I fully support Brian being in charge of this entire process to see what he can do with it.

      FWIW, I don’t know the guy at all. I’ve only read about his case, and we have a couple mutual FB friends. But, from what I do know, I think he has the potential to do more with this than funneling it through the regular channels in the gun movement.

      • Andy B. says:

        You’ve persuaded me, but it wasn’t too hard. I agree it is doable by an individual.

        Actually this was one time when I was trying to fight shy of my normal cynicism, and was suggesting that at least some of our RKBA organizations might be both trustworthy and altruistic. Were I in Aitken’s position, having both the story and the motivation to tell it, I would go it entirely on my own. Except, I have no idea how Aitken is fixed financially. His pre-publication sale idea makes it sound like he could use the money.

        But — I also would be encouraged if some group with the money said “We trust you. Here’s the money. Publish your book the way you want to and best of luck.”

        • Bitter says:

          You and I both know that there are certainly groups set up that have the entire book publication business covered. But, I just think they would really stifle this new creative mind who was dragged into our issue as an activist. If you named the average gun rights person stuck in a bad situation, I would absolutely tell them to pick up the phone and call one of the other pro-gun groups to guide them through this process rather than trying to go it on their own.

          However, Brian is a completely different situation. He clearly knows how to tell a story. He’s young, and he’s creative. He has the contacts to get professional services from everything like cover design to distribution. He’s someone with the vision and background to potentially turn out a better product than what the typical pros who are specific to our issue would do.

          The pre-sale idea is pretty common with crowd-funded projects. A textbook I helped fund last year will be headed my way shortly, so this sort of promotion isn’t something that even makes me bat an eye. I think it’s going to be the new normal for many entrepreneurs over time.

          • Andy B. says:

            I guess we all lean toward what we have experience with and are familiar with. Not intending to impugn Brian’s efforts in any way, I have to admit I am just genetically leery of buying pigs yet to be contained in a poke.

            My personal experience is with friends who utilized vanity publishers to publish their books. It seemed to me that those publishers were not dishonest in any way, that I heard of, except for failing to tell the authors their books were awful, and very likely wouldn’t go anywhere. But, they did marvelous jobs with cover art, etc., and with attempting to place the books with appropriate outlets. The authors got the agreed-to money for the number of copies actually sold, but none ever quite broke even with their up-front publishing costs.

            If I felt compelled to write a book and get it published, I would probably consider that — again, out of familiarity more than for any other practical considerations.

  7. Adam Z says:

    As a relatively new father of our 13 month year old, I can’t imagine what Brian is going through. Just tossed in a couple of bucks for his fight.

    Even though I couldn’t attend this year’s FNRA dinner,knowing this story from media accounts/other blogs and watching the video post that Bitter wisely posted on this blog, I had to help him on his way to SCOTUS and getting his book published.

    I will spread thisto friends and hopefully others reading this blog will too.

  8. Brad says:

    The true face of gun control. The fate of Brian Aitken is what gun control is really all about. Publicizing cases like his and Nathan Haddad (veteran and victim of DC magazine ban) could go a long way towards destroying the appeal of gun control among low information voters.

  9. Daniel Passer says:

    How do we get these sadistic, evil judges, who themselves are evil criminals blatantly breaking the law, debarred and imprisoned for life with no parole?

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